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Allen Lessels' College Hockey: Another van Riemsdyk excels on the ice for UNH
Trevor van Riemsdyk, of the Middletown, N.J., van Riemsdyks and the middle man in a family of hockey-playing brothers, had finished up his high school career at Christian Brothers Academy and had to make a decision.
"After the high school season I went to play in a tournament in Chicago and met Coach Tremblay," van Riemsdyk said. "He kind of took me under his wing. He kind of pushed me and put it in my head that I could go the Division I route. I owe him a lot."
"You can't give up on the dream quite that early," said van Riemsdyk, now a standout junior defenseman in the midst of his best year yet at the University of New Hampshire.
The move paid off, bigtime.
Within a few months he made a verbal commitment to play for UNH where his older brother, James, was starring.
James was the fastest-developing of the van Riemsdyk boys when it came to hockey. He went off to play for the National Team Development Program and was picked second overall in the 2007 NHL draft by the Philadelphia Flyers.
James is on the United States Olympic team, too, and is headed to Sochi for the Games next month.
"A month into his junior year, he was a huge recruit," said UNH associate coach Scott Borek, who recruited him. "He played forward and defense growing up, you can tell he played a lot of forward by his game, so he really didn't have a position yet. Once he locked and loaded on defense, which was not until junior hockey, he exploded."
"That has allowed him to be dominant since the day he got here," Borek said.
He had four goals and 15 points for 19 points as a freshman. Last year, as a sophomore he was named a first team All American with eight goals and 25 assists for 33 points.
"He's as good as there is," said UNH coach Dick Umile said. "He plays just like his brother. He sees the ice, he has a great feel for the game and he's very skilled. He has great control of the puck and he has great composure with the puck."
"He's doesn't preach much to me," he said. "He does it with his actions. He's a great role model to have."
Trevor, 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, is a bit of an odd man out among the Brothers van Riemsdyk.
James is a forward and left shot and so is their younger brother, Brendan, a senior at Christian Brothers Academy.
Next year, Trevor said, Brendan hopes to play in the United States Hockey League with the Sioux City Musketeers. He's due at UNH in the fall of 2015 or 2016, depending on whether he plays one or two years in juniors.
James spent two years at UNH before leaving for professional hockey.
Trevor was not drafted and scouts are reportedly paying a lot of attention to him.
"I know its cliché, but I've been taking it year, by year, season by season, game by game," he said. "I don't know what the plan is."
He certainly wasn't thinking that far ahead when he came to UNH.
That he was.